York U Student Investigated for Anti-Semitic Website

Published: March 7th 2010

York University
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York University is taking “appropriate disciplinary actions” against a student being investigated by hate crimes units of the Ontario Provincial Police and Toronto Police Service for anti-Semitic postings on a conspiracy-theory website that advocate genocide against Jews.


The National Post first reported in a Tuesday, March 2 article that only months after Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley decided not to press ahead with hate crimes charges against Salman Hossain – a decision that Canadian Jewish Congress CEO Bernie Farber partly blamed on the length of time it took to conduct the investigation – the York student is back on police radar for new online hate writings.


Farber said that CJC has received phone calls and emails from worried York students and parents.


“Quite rightly, they ask, “Am I safe going to York University with this guy still walking around?’,” he said.


York had been unable to meet face-to-face with Hossain as of Friday, March 5, but Keith Marnoch, York Media Relations Associate Director, said that a formal meeting was imminent.


“The individual that we’re talking about here has not responded and we have taken the appropriate disciplinary actions within our student code of conduct,” said Marnoch. “We’re working towards meeting with him. That’s really got to happen before all else.”


He added that if the student flatly refused to meet with York officials, “other things will have to be considered.”


In a letter to York President Mamdouh Shoukri send on the morning of Wednesday, March 3, Canadian Jewish Congress wrote, “Your administration has a clear responsibility to protect the students of the university from potential harm that may be caused by Salman Hossain. He hates Jews, wishes them ill, and has observed in his postings that there are ‘tons of Jews on campus.’ We are not prepared to assume that this is mere rhetoric on the part of Mr. Hossain.”


CJC urged Shoukri to suspend the student and not allow him onto campus pending the outcome of the police investigation.


Marnoch said that York was not in a position to elaborate on what other actions were currently being taken besides attempting to meet with the student.


However, York told the National Post that if the investigation were sent to an internal tribunal, Hossain could be suspended pending a decision in his case.


Marnoch did tell Shalom Life that York had “taken appropriate disciplinary action that we can to this point” to ensure that students feel safe and comfortable on campus. But, he would not specify what that action was.


“In order to ensure that this individual does participate in this process that we’ve got to go through on campus, we’ve taken the necessary steps to focus his attention on this issue,” said Marnoch.


It was not clear from speaking to Marnoch if the student is still allowed onto York campus.


“Certainly part of our student code of conduct is that we take action on things that are brought to our attention or where there are complaints,” he said.


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